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NPL Site Narrative for American Creosote Works, Inc.

Louisville, Mississippi

Federal Register Notice:  September 13, 2001 (PDF) (9 pp, 193K, About PDF)

Conditions at Proposal (June 14, 2001): The American Creosote Works, Inc., site encompasses the property of a former timber processing and wood preserving facility, approximately 120 acres in size, located at the corner of Railroad Avenue and Baremore Street in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi. The former facility operated from 1912 until 1998. The site is being proposed to the NPL based on evidence of shallow ground water contamination beneath the former facility and contamination of Railroad Lake by creosote constituents, including naphthalene, dibenzofuran, fluorene, fluoranthene, chrysene, 2-methyl naphthalene, anthracene, phenanthrene, carbazole, pyrene, acenaphthene, phenol, and other substances associated with wood preserving processes. Ground water is used locally as a potable water supply source, and Railroad Lake was formerly used by local residents for recreation and fishing.

American Creosote Works, Inc., operations included bark removal, wood preserving, and product storage. Creosote was the primary preservative used in the process; however, the facility also used pentachlorophenol from 1985 to 1988. According to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the facility was cited for several violations throughout its history. In 1984, the Mississippi Bureau of Pollution Control (MBPC) inspected the facility, discovered two uncontrolled waste lagoons containing creosote, and requested assistance from EPA to address these areas. EPA subsequently oversaw the excavation of the lagoon wastes as well as wastes contained in a previously identified surface impoundment. Approximately 60,000 cubic yards of excavated creosote waste was solidified with cement kiln dust, placed into a storage cell on top of approximately 5 feet of clay, and capped. During a second removal action performed in 1999, EPA oversaw the stabilization of 5,000 cubic yards of creosote waste contained in overflowing tanks, solidified the waste, and placed it in a second storage cell. Soil sampling during a 1999 site inspection revealed residual contamination in the formerly excavated areas.

Surface water runoff from the property flows into two watersheds. Runoff flows both into Railroad Lake, located on the facility property, and into drainage ditches which empty into an unnamed, intermittent tributary of Hughes Creek. Hughes Creek, which is intermittent in the vicinity of the site, flows south and intersects Tallahaga Creek. Creosote constituents have been detected at elevated concentrations in the sediments of Railroad Lake and in the intermittent segment of Hughes Creek. Railroad Lake is a fishery and a former recreational area. In recent years, however, visible creosote contamination has reportedly caused local residents to refrain from using the Lake. Land use in the area surrounding the American Creosote Works, Inc., facility is both industrial and residential.

Elevated levels of creosote-related hazardous substances also have been detected in ground water collected by EPA from the Wilcox aquifer beneath the site. Five public drinking water wells operated by the City of Louisville draw water from the Wilcox aquifer and are located within 1/2 mile of the facility in the direction of ground water flow. An additional 17 private wells and one irrigation well draw water from the aquifer and are located within 4 miles of the facility.

Status (September 2001): EPA is considering various alternatives for this site.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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